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Lance Armstrong, dedication and obsession: A Question

March 31, 2009

I’m not sure how many people in this country follow cycling, as I do, but I know that millions are familiar with Lance Armstrong and his historic run of seven Tour de France championships in a row, his status as a cancer survivor, his Livestrong foundation to benefit cancer research and, recently, his return from more than three years of retirement to competitive cycling at the age of 37. You also may or may not know that he recently had surgery to repair a broken collar bone. During the operation, a steel plate and twelve screws were implanted into Mr. Armstrong. And then, in what I’m sure is typical post-surgical therapy, he was on a bike and training just three days later.

So I raise the question: at what point, in any endeavor, vocation or avocation, does dedication turn to obsession? And, in any case, is obsession always bad? Or are some of them beneficial? Can you be obsessed in one area of your life but balanced and healthy in others?

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